H. Bamberg


Main Street & Gervais Street
Columbia, SC


Henry Bamberg (1857-1919) was a German immigrant who lived in Columbia for roughly thirty-five years. He began operating a cigar manufacturing business under his name in Columbia in the 1880s, and by 1895 was known as one of the city’s “most enterprising and progressive business men and citizens.”1 Throughout the late 1880s and early 1890s Henry changed business locations on numerous occasions, operating out of 145½ Richardson (now known as Main Street), 51 Gervais, and 1325 Main Street before moving his manufacturing and wholesale business to 1412 Main Street in 1897. There, he produced a “deservedly popular and widely known line of Havana and domestic cigars,” which he distributed to hotels, restaurants, and cigar stores throughout South Carolina and New York.2 In 1901, Henry sold off his retail stock to focus on the manufacturing end of his business, and around 1909, he opened El Florencio City Factory at 1316 Main Street. In 1912, Henry moved El Florencio to 2030 Main Street before relocating again the next year and setting up shop at 826 Gervais Street.


Henry married Miriam Epstin (1862-1927), the daughter of Polish and German immigrants, in 1889. Together Henry and Miriam had one son, Jacob Solomon “Sol” (1889-1953), who went into the cigar business alongside Miriam’s brother, Isidor Cassel (1872-1954). Around 1916, Henry and Miriam moved to Beaufort, South Carolina where Henry continued manufacturing cigars before passing away in 1919.



1 “H. Bamberg,” State, September 5, 1895, 2.

2 “H. Bamberg.”

Main Image: An advertisement for El Florencio City Factory. Reprinted from The Columbia Record, April 21, 1909.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918